Employers of domiciliary care workers - what you need to know

Recognising the hard work and commitment of social care workers is a priority for us. If you employ domiciliary care (in people's homes) workers, you need to know that the Welsh Government is thinking of registering these workers from 2018. To help you understand what this means, we have put together answers to some of the questions you may have.

Who are domiciliary care workers?

Domiciliary care workers are people employed by a domiciliary support service to provide care and support.

Their job title might not be ‘domiciliary care worker’, but if they provide care and support to people in their own homes and their work place is registered with the Care and Social Services Inspectorate Wales (CSSIW) they will need to register.

Domiciliary support services are registered with CSSIW.

When will they need to need register?

The Welsh Government has recently asked for people’s views about registration and are deciding on when it could happen. The earliest date that domiciliary care workers can apply to register with us will be in 2018 and they may need to register to legally work in Wales by 2020.   

Updates on when they will need to register will be shared here.

What is registration?

We keep a register of people who have shown they are fit to practise in social care by:

  • following the Code of Professional Practice for Social Care (the Code)
  • having the knowledge and skills (including qualifications) needed 
  • being physically and mentally fit to practise, and have the character and competence to practise
  • either work, or plan to work, in domiciliary care in Wales 
  • following practice guidance developed for domiciliary care workers. Practice guidance is a guide that describes what is expected of you. We will be asking for people’s views on new practice guidance for domiciliary care workers in autumn 2017.

What are the benefits of registration?

The benefits include:

Building trust and confidence
  • people can rely on registered social care workers 
  • people can have confidence in you and know you will follow the Code
Valuing social care workers
  • show you have the skills and knowledge to be a good  domiciliary care worker
  • you can show  you have had  training and take responsibility for developing your knowledge and skills
  • employers can provide the support and development you need
  • you can take responsibility for what you do as a social care worker
Making sure people are safe
  • protect people’s rights and make sure they are listened to
  • support people to be independent and protect themselves. 

If a worker is not fit to practise they can be removed from the Register and will not be able to practice in Wales. Being fit to practise means they have the skills, knowledge and character to do their job safely and effectively.

Registering will help us to know more about domiciliary care workers in Wales. We will know how many people work in domiciliary care which will help us plan the best ways to support you. 

Will they need to pay a fee?

Yes. There will be a fee for registration, which will need to be paid every year. It hasn’t been decided how much this will be.

We have recently asked for people’s views about the registration fee through our online consultation.

What qualifications will they need?

They are likely to need a qualification to register, but at the moment the qualifications they would need haven’t been agreed. We have recently asked for people’s views about registration through our online consultation.

Once we know what qualifications they will need we will update you here.

Who is responsible for applying to register?

Applying to register is the responsibility of the worker. 

What responsibilities do employers have?

You will need to make sure workers are fit to practise. You will be asked to endorse applications and verify the identity of the worker applying.

More information on employer responsibilities

Employers need to make sure workers can do a good job, which is set out in section 7 of the Code.    

This means making sure they:

  • have the right qualifications or can work towards getting them
  • have the chance to learn and develop in their work in a variety of ways
  • know about the Code and how it applies to them.

If a worker can’t meet these requirements, we could refuse their registration.

As an employer, the Code also states that you must:

  • keep in touch with workers and give them guidance and support
  • understand how the service is working and address unsatisfactory performance or misconduct by workers, which could include making referrals to us. 

We are reviewing the Code of Practice for Employers (Code of Practice for Persons Employing Social Care Workers). We have recently asked for people’s views about the Code of Practice for Employers through our online consultation.

What do workers need to know about registering?

  • All applications to register are made online, we will advertise when the Register opens in 2018 and your workers can apply with us from that date.
  • Workers can create an SCWonline account to apply to register. As their employer, you can endorse their application form within your own SCWonline account.
  • Workers will need to pay a fee every year. The fee amount hasn’t been decided yet.
  • We give information about how to register on our registration pages

Everyone who is registered needs to renew their registration every three years. To do this, they will need to apply to renew through their SCWonline account and give evidence of post-registration training and learning (PRTL). 

We ask for proof that at least 90 hours of training and learning has been completed over the three years since someone last registered.

What ongoing learning and development will they need?

You will need to make sure your workforce have the knowledge, understanding and skills they need to deliver the service’s statement of purpose. These will need to be recorded so that workers can give evidence of their post-registration training and learning also known as PRTL.  

The aim of doing PRTL is to help workers in their work, so they can provide a good service to the people they support and keep up-to-date with things that change.

There are lots of ways to show PRTL. It can be by:

  • completing qualifications or training
  • shadowing someone else and learning from how they work
  • attending a workshop
  • taking on new responsibilities.  

We will look at what we can do to support workers to develop their knowledge, skills and understanding. This might be to help keep practise up-to-date, to develop areas of knowledge such as childcare or dementia, or it could be to help workers move into management.

How will ongoing learning and development be funded?

Employers have a responsibility to make sure workers have the knowledge and skills for their role. These are not new responsibilities, but training and learning will need to be recorded so workers have evidence of their post-registration training and learning (PRTL).  

We operate the Social Care Workforce Development Partnership (SCWDP) grant, which can support some costs of workforce development. We will work with domiciliary care organisations and regional workforce lead officers to work out the best way to use this funding.

What if they don’t follow the Code of Professional Practice?

If you are concerned about the practice of a worker, you can contact us. Under the Code, it is your duty to act on your concerns.

We have a fitness to practise team which looks at whether people have the knowledge, skills and character needed to be a good social care worker. 

The fitness to practise team will only look into a worker’s practice when a concern has been raised. They will consider whether a worker’s fitness to practise is impaired (negatively affected). They will look at evidence from a number of people including the worker to decide whether the worker has the character, knowledge and skills to be safe and effective.

More information on fitness to practise

Has an impact assessment on the registration of the workforce been undertaken?

The Welsh Government have completed an Equality Impact Assessment on the Regulation and Inspection of Social Care Wales Act 2016 – Workforce regulations. 

We will complete an Equality Impact Assessment for our consultation on the qualification levels and fees for registration.

I want to ask a question

If you have a question about domiciliary care worker registration contact us.

Last updated: 25 October 2017